With Kyle Williams absent from the lineup in Week 6 against the Giants, Marcell Dareus admitted that he missed having his "coach on the field" telling him what was coming next. He was also facing a whole lot more double teams without the Pro Bowl nose tackle lined up next to him.
"Man, after you kind of establish that you're beating the guy or hustling they want to put out that fire before it gets started," he said during the bye week.
On Sunday the Redskins offensive line could've had an unlimited supply of fire extinguishers and they weren't putting out the firestorm that was Buffalo's top draft choice in the Bills 23-0 victory over Washington at the Rogers Centre.
Moved inside to Williams' nose tackle position, Dareus wreaked havoc on the line of scrimmage from the very first snap, commanding double team attention and making plays in spite of it.
"He was awesome," said Chris Kelsay. "He did an unbelievable job. He made the plays that needed to be made. He's a force to be reckoned with and he's got a number of years ahead of playing like that and we're fortunate that he's on our side."
Dareus finished the game with four tackles including two and a half sacks and three quarterback hits. Knowing head coach Chan Gailey singled out the pass rush as the area in need of the biggest improvement his prized rookie made getting to the quarterback a mission on Sunday.
"I took it personally myself because I don't think as a front that we've done a good job of getting to the quarterback and putting as much pressure on the quarterback as needed," he said. "So me and the D-line and the front seven we've been emphasizing that, getting after the quarterback no matter what. Do all you can."
Buffalo's front seven looked dominant with Dareus at the nose. The Washington offensive line had to double the rookie on every play knowing their center Erik Cook couldn't handle him one-on-one. That left one-on-one matchups for some of Buffalo's other pass rushers.
"It's good," said Spencer Johnson, who had a sack, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hit. "The guy can play. It doesn't matter where you put him he can get after the quarterback and play the run. It helps all around."
"He is a force inside and you have to put two on him just about (every play)," said head coach Chan Gailey. "The nose position creates that because if both guards turn out then that poor center is just sitting there."
High draft choices in the NFL often have a big ego that comes along with them. That's not the case with Dareus. A humble, down to earth talent with a good head on his shoulders, Dareus made a promise the first day he reported to One Bills Drive and made a big first step in fulfilling it Sunday.
"It's like I said when I first got here," he said following Sunday's game. "It doesn't matter where they want me I'm going to do the best I can at wherever I'm at."
As long as he is somewhere on their defensive line Buffalo's defense has a good chance of looking more like the unit that dominated and pitched a shutout on Sunday than the one that surrendered over 400 yards each to its five previous opponents.
"A lot of people questioned us stopping the run, playing flat instead of playing a whole game," said Dareus. "I think this is the first complete game our team has played and I think it's only the beginning. The sky is the limit."